Prenatal Nutritional Counselling
Prenatal nutrition is crucial to the development and health of your baby. Eating well will allow you to gain more energy, provide essential nutrients to your own body, as well as that of your baby, and support a healthy pregnancy weight gain.
As midwives, we discuss all aspects of your health with regard to your pregnancy; we regularly offer referrals to a registered dietician.
Dieticians can help pregnant clients maintain a healthy diet by assessing their nutritional needs, providing nutritional advice to prevent and treat disease, and educate clients about their diets.
Clients may also be referred to a dietician to address gestational diabetes, raised blood pressure, low or raised BMI (body mass index), severe morning sickness, nutritional related illness such as an eating disorder, gastrointestinal disease, previous pregnancy complications, a history of small babies….as well as many other reasons that would be discussed with you, if applicable.
ODSP and Ontario Works: Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Nutritional Allowance
If you are receiving the Ontario Disability Support Program, Income Support, or Ontario Works, and you or a family member is pregnant or breastfeeding, you may be able to get assistance with your nutrition-related costs until your baby is 12 months of age.
To access this program, you can contact your local Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program office and ask for the appropriate form. Your midwife, doctor, or dietician can fill it out for you.
Other Nutritional Programs:
The goal of the off-reserve Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program is to improve the health of Aboriginal parents and their babies up to six months of age, as well as Aboriginal families that live off-reserve. CPNP will provide food supplements, counseling and support, education, and referral to other services and counseling to at-risk pregnant families. Counseling can be on lifestyle issues that can affect the baby such as smoking and alcohol use as well as family violence.
Smart Start for Babies is a free prenatal education and nutrition program for pregnant people and young parents, as well as their support persons who face barriers to accessing healthy food. Sessions are offered at different locations throughout London and Strathroy, which are led by public health nurses and registered dietitians. You must call to register. Sessions offer healthy food, grocery store vouchers, bus tickets and free prenatal vitamins.